How to start healthy habits which you can stick to

Habit change process which works

If you ask yourself the question why is it so hard for you to stick to the healthy habits, believe me you are not alone. Most of us human beings are just not consequent enough to stick to habits which are not convenient, pleasant, comfortable or give some kind of pleasure. So how can you train your mind to change your habits to achieve a healthier and balanced lifestyle?

As simple as it is, just follow the cycle of habit creation:

  1. Reminder
  2. Routine
  3. Reward

Let’s go through the below illustration what it really means for every day practice:

Train yourself to stick to the healthy habits for long term

All the activities you do during the day is the collection of habits or so called routines which you developed over the years.

Starting with the a very simple example, as soon as the sun goes up (reminder) you get out of bed (routine) and you get a cup of coffee (reward) to start your day. You never have to think about it, you just do it as this is part of your lifestyle.

Now, let’s try to turn this into a tool which helps you to overcome your inner weaker self and actually get yourself moving or eating healthier.

You need a good and simple REMINDER, an activity which you do every day not failing a single time or an event which is happening no matter what…like brushing teeth in the morning. Now you have to connect this activity with your ROUTINE, let’s say every morning after I brush my teeth I will do 10 burpees (which is by the way one of the best way to boost your endurance and make your entire body stronger). If you want to be sure that you get the habit just leave a post-it on your bathroom mirror so you can’t miss it. The next step is the best of the whole cycle, you have to REWARD yourself so you have a positive experience which makes you want to repeat. In this example I will reward myself with a tasty and healthy breakfast.

I have created two more examples which I would like to share with you for inspiration:

  • I would like to get a habit to walk more during the day to compensate for sitting a lot in the office, therefore I decided to walk couple of tram stops when I take the tram to work or go for lunch.  The reminder would be the tram stop where I would like to get off, the routine is the walking and the reward is some window shopping which I really like to do.
  • The last example is one of my biggest achievement over the last year. As soon as I reach home after work, I check the mail (reminder) and go straight to run (routine) before I would do anything else at home. My reward is of course a healthy bowl of soup or seasonal salad which is very easy to do after I return from my workout. You can find my healthy recipes on Instagram.

You got inspired? Try it out, start with small changes, one at the time and do not let yourself discouraged!

5 simple tips to stay fit during holidays

5 simple ways to stay fit during holidays
If you want to stay fit during your holiday follow these 5 easy steps

You have done so well lately and now the holiday season is right around the corner. What I find personally difficult is to go and enjoy the well deserved holiday without jeopardising all the hard work I put in to get fit. Usually end of the holiday I go home with couple of extra kilograms not even fitting into my nice holiday pants. Do not understand me wrong holidays are there to enjoy, let out the steam, relax and not to worry about diet. However with a small effort the after holiday frustration can be avoided.

I put together this bucket list which I take with me for my next holiday just to remind myself that small things can lead to a big change to make sure you stay fit:

  1. Keep hydrated but avoid any sweetened drinks: so much better option to tap into the great variety of fruits which is available for a quick shake. You need only crashed ice, fresh fruits and a blender. In case you do not trust the ice (in some holiday destinations could be a problem) you can do wonder with simply putting some lime and mint leaves into ice cold water. Do not forget, many times you are really just thirsty and not hungry, so before you reach for food DRINK.
  2. Do not completely give up your exercise plans: exercises can be easily added into your holiday plans, you just have to WANT it. Be creative even if you do not have a gym, you can do so much with your own body weight. It also prevents you from eating too much. What works really good for me is an early morning run before the sun comes up and gets really humid and hot. It does not have to be very long, just add some lunges and sprint at the end and you are fully refreshed and ready for the day. I also noticed that I’m much better avoiding temptation at the breakfast buffet after the exercise, I do not crave for food that much.
  3. Try out new activities for an active holiday: the best thing to avoid unnecessary eating and drinking is to keep yourself busy with fun and interesting activities. Holidays are good opportunities to try out new things. If you spend your holidays close to the water, do not be shy to go for some water activities. Stand-up paddling, kayaking, surfing or diving are really fun and great work-out options.
  4. Watch the portion: what I keep telling myself is just because I’m in holidays I do not need to eat double the portion than at home. I’m surviving pretty well at home without breakfast buffet or three course menu for each dinner. So why I’m doing it during the holidays? The variety of choices, this must be it. Why do you need to try everything in the breakfast buffet, you will have the same choices tomorrow. Rule of the thumb, starter must go. The main course is perfectly fine to satisfy your appetite, starters just added calorie. You can also go wrong with healthy choices like salad if you take it with a dressing which is a calorie bomb. The simplest to ask your waiter for olive oil and vinegar. Deserts, either share it or skip it. No compromise.
  5. Get the right combination: you love steak, no problem go for it but drop those potatoes. You have a great grilled fish do not spoil your appetite with fries, reach for the fresh salad. Finish up with a good glass of vine, sugary cocktails just add to much calories.
Do these workouts during your holiday to stay fit
Easy no gym exercises using your own body weight or be creative and find a substitute… like a coconut. Morning jogging at the beach is unbeatable.

I would be very interested to hear whether you find the list useful. Share with us what is your trick to keep fit during holidays!

Most importantly, enjoy your holiday! You deserve it!